I have been back in the states for a while now, and am finally settled in ann arbor enough to write a new post. I had been on a big belgian and sour kick after reading wild brews and brew like a monk. Drank my way through quite a few of the trappists: Chimay Blue, Westmalle Dubbel, Achel Blong, Chimay White, and Orval.
It is kind of sad that I have not really (as a conscious beer geek) had these beers before, but I always find myself buying the cheeper american belgian stuff when I have a craving. I finally committed to spending a little extra cash and can say that while the beers themselves probably don't warrant the mark up, the experience was worth it
The one beer that I would spend the extra money again is Orval. That is namely because it is unlike anything else made in the world. Super funky on the nose and palate and bone dry on the finish, it was both interesting tasting, and as a result of the high level of attenuation, easily drinkable.
Kind of transitioning out of the belgian thing as i find myself craving hops again. Founders wet-hopped harvest ale really hit the spot, and I have been nursing a six pack of Great Lake Burning River for the past week.
One last notable beer experience was my recent consumption of five year old avery the beast and six year old avery grand cru. These are by far the oldest beers I have ever had. Both sit at around 15 percent alcohol and have held up well over the years. They each drink like a glass of maple syrup, with some savory oxidized notes. I will have to revisit both and take more detailed notes.